SUBIC BAY, PHILIPPINES - More foreign plastic manufacturers are locating their operations at Subic Bay, the Philippines' first economic and free port zone. The Subic Bay free port zone covers about 148,200 acres.
Subic Bay, the former U.S. naval base, has been attracting American, Japanese, Taiwanese, Australian and European investors, since it was opened in 1993.
The latest foreign investor to locate at the zone is WEL Philippines of Cavite, a subsidiary of World Enterprise (Far East) Ltd., a Hong Kong-based manufacturer of plastic products.
WEL Philippines plans to invest US$3 million to manufacture hangers, telephone casings, computer parts, floppy disks and other items for export to the United States, Canada and other countries.
David Levy, chairman of WEL Philippines, said his company has other facilities all over Asia and plans to make Subic Bay the primary center for operations in the Southeast Asian region because of the large pool of skilled Philippine labor.
Levy said the company's Hong Kong facilities gradually will be moved to Subic Bay because of the projected instability when Hong Kong reverts back to China in 1997. His company has been based in Hong Kong for the past 10 years.
Levy described Subic Bay as the logical alternative site for the company's operations because the Philippines is economically and politically stable.
``Subic really represents what other countries in Asia are trying to develop and it was opened up not as a new country but as a leader for the rest of the Philippines to follow,'' he said.
``This is really the reason why we are investing here and not anywhere else in Asia,'' he said.
Levy said he always has been a believer in the Philippines. What makes the decision easier to locate to Subic, he said, is that there is a path people are following and that it is exciting to be a part of its development.
The other plastics company that established its facilities at Subic is KACE Electronics Asia Inc., which manufactures telephone casings for Thomson Audio Philipines Inc. of Makati, Philippines. Thomson had been importing casings from Malaysia.